31 October 2011, Sweetcrude, Abuja – Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment has warned oil companies operating in the country on early submission of applications for permits to lift crude oil.
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, Mr. Dauda Kigbu, said at a meeting of the officials of Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment with those of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the oil companies in Abuja that the warning had become necessary to aoid delay in the processing of the permits.
He disclosed that efforts were on by his Ministry and elevant government agencies to strengthen the process that would ensure that permits to oil companies were issued without delay.
Kigbu recalled that status report has, in the past, not been forwarded to the Ministry to enable it provide feedback to government on actual quantity of crude oil lifted, compared to the permit clearance issued by the Ministry.
“It is required that all oil companies must comply with this directive,” he said, urging them to comply with the agreed timetable for submission of applications.
He added that the Weights and Measures division of the Ministry has been upgraded to a department to ensure that it captures quantity of oil lifted in the country as well as proper calibration of equipment.
Also speaking, the Director, Weights and Measures, Mr. Joseph Sikuade, stated that the department has been given the power and required laws to move in and do quantity assurance and proper calibration at oil loading terminals and daily verification of all calibrating equipment for lifting oil.
He appealed for cooperation of the stakeholders in the oil and gas sector, adding that the Ministry would reach out to all stakeholders on the implementation process.
“This is a synergy, it is not a threat; we need to work together for the good of Nigeria. We intend to do the right thing as it should be done to ensure transparency and honesty in the economy,” he said.
On the overlapping role of the Department and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the Director stated that there was a distinction in terms of responsibility as stipulated by the law.
He noted that the Department of Weights and Measures takes responsibility of custody transfer from DPR to oil companies and ensures that equipment used for transfer was properly calibrated, legal and transparent.
Stakeholders at the meeting urged the Ministry to officially inform those companies that were not complying with the guideline on submission of application for clearance permit and to take necessary punitive action.
Companies represented at the meeting included Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, Dubri Oil Company Limited, Petrobras, CNOOC, Walter Smith, Statoil Nigeria Ltd, Famfa Nigeria Ltd, Septa Energy and Nigeria LNG Ltd.
Others were Seplat Petroleum Development Company, Nigerian Agip Oil Company, Energia Limited, Platform Petroleum Ltd, South Atlantic Petroleum Ltd, MidWestern Oil & Gas Company Plc, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, Afren Nigeria, Chevron Nigeria Ltd, Addax Petroleum, Oando E&P Ltd and Moni Pulo Ltd.